Oven Baked Sticky Fingers (Winger’s Copycat Recipe) are delicious crispy-crunchy breaded chicken strips with a tasty sweet sticky sauce that has a kick. Eat these Winger’s Copycat Sticky Fingers with ranch or bleu cheese dressing and you will have a dinner everyone loves!
In Utah, we have a restaurant that is called Winger’s. As you can guess by the name, they serve wings. Not only do they serve amazing wings, they have the yummiest Sticky Fingers.
What is a Sticky Finger?
If you are wondering what a sticky finger is, let me tell you! It is a chicken tender or chicken strip that is crispy and crunchy and covered with the most amazing sauce. The sticky finger sauce is sticky (duh), sweet and has a kick of heat.
The restaurant (I am guessing) fries their chicken tenders then covers them in the sweet and spicy sticky sauce. I decided I would oven bake my chicken tenders. Baking them is just as yummy, but I did not want to miss out on the crunchy crispy breaded coating that the traditional Sticky Fingers have.
These Oven Baked Sticky Fingers (Winger’s Copycat Recipe) have all of the best parts that Winger’s Sticky Fingers have. The chicken strips have a tasty crispy and crunchy breading, the chicken is juicy and the sauce is the perfect blend of spicy and sweet and of course is still sticky!
The Crispy Crunchy Breading for the Chicken
The chicken tenders have to have a crispy breading that the sticky sauce can hang on to.
NOTE: You do not have to make your own breaded chicken strips. Tyson makes some pretty darn good frozen chicken strips for an easier faster dinner! Or even use chicken nuggets and add the sticky sauce!
For my breading I use Plain Panko Bread Crumbs and some seasoned salt. You can also use Plain Bread Crumbs for a softer breading, Cornflake Crumbs for a crunchy breading or combine them all together. You can also use Shake and Bake, just don’t add the seasoned salt since Shake and Bake usually has its own seasoning already added to the breading.
I have use a combination of Panko Bread Crumbs and Plain Bread Crumbs and the breading was amazing. So use what you prefer or what you have on hand.
The Sticky Finger Sauce for Winger’s Copycat Sticky Fingers
The sauce is what sets apart these chicken tenders from the rest! It is amazing! It is sweet, it is spicy and it is sticky and clings to the chicken strips perfectly. You will love it!
The sauce is heated on your stove top. You will heat the hot sauce, brown sugar, garlic powder, some water, salt and a bit of butter. It will simmer together and make amazing Winger’s Copycat Sticky Finger Sauce.
The sauce comes together in minutes. I make my Sticky Finger Sauce while my chicken tenders are baking in the oven.
Making the Oven Baked Sticky Fingers (Winger’s Copycat Recipe)
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or grease your baking sheet. I use a half sheet pan for baking and all of the chicken strips fit perfectly. See below for the half sheet pans I use.
You will need boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips. You can make your chicken strips as as you would like. I try and keep mine the same thickness so they cook evenly, but some are longer and wider than others (see photos below to see how my chicken strips are cut differently but are the same thickness sometimes). Try and keep your chicken tenders to 1/2 inch or less in thickness.
To bread the chicken strips, beat some eggs together with a bit of water in one dish. This will be your egg bath.
In another dish, mix your Panko Bread Crumbs (or breading of your choice) with the seasoned salt.
First, place your chicken in a zip top bag, and add the all-purpose flour to the zip top bag. Seal the bag and shake the bag so the chicken tenders are covered in flour. The flour helps the breading stick, after they are dipped in the eggs.
Next, take each piece of flour coated chicken and dunk them in the egg bath. And then directly in to the Panko Crumbs. Press the crumbs on to the chicken. Place the breaded chicken on your baking sheet. Repeat with all of the chicken.
Spray the chicken strips with cooking spray. This will help them get good and crispy while baking. (This is optional)
Baking the Chicken Strips
Your chicken fingers will need to cook at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes. Check them at 20 minutes. Bake them for longer if needed.
Use a meat thermometer to make sure they have reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
You do not have to check each piece of chicken. Pick the thickest piece of chicken and check the internal temperature of the biggest piece of chicken. If the biggest piece has an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees you know the rest of the chicken is done as well.
TIP: Check on your chicken half way through baking. If it looks like it needs to get a bit more crispy, spray the chicken tenders with some more cooking spray. This will help them get perfectly crispy. (This is optional)
Make your Sticky Finger Sauce while the chicken bakes!
Oven Baked Sticky Fingers (Winger’s Copycat Recipe) are Ready to EAT!
Your sauce should be made, the chicken tenders are out of the oven, and it is time to cover them with the best sauce.
I take each chicken finger and dip them in the sauce, making sure they are covered fully. You can also use a basting brush and brush the sauce on them.
To eat the Winger’s Copycat Sticky Fingers, we love them with a side of Ranch or Bleu Cheese Dressing. Fries and tater tots (we love our air fryer for this) are always delicious served with these Winger’s Copycat Sticky Fingers but a nice side salad is tasty too!
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For some wings try my Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings. They are oven baked and would be so tasty with the Sticky Finger Sauce on them!
Here are some products I used to make this recipe!
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Oven Baked Sticky Fingers (Winger’s Copycat Recipe)
- 1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips *I get about 24-25 strips depending on size – see notes * You can also use Frozen Chicken Tenders that are already breaded
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 eggs
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 1/2 cups Plain Panko Bead Crumbs *see notes for other options
- 2 tbsp seasoned salt
- cooking spray to spray the breaded chicken pieces for baking (optional)
Sticky Finger Sauce
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar (yes, that is a lot, but so worth it)
- 1/3 cup Frank’s Original Red Hot Sauce *Frank’s Buffalo Wings Sauce works great too
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- pinch of salt
- Preheat your oven to 425°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease a baking sheet. If you your pan isn't very big you may need to use 2 pans and bake them separately.
- Cut your chicken breasts into chicken strips. Make sure they are the same thickness. I try and keep mine to 1/2 inch or less thickness.
- In a zip top bag, add your flour. Place your chicken strips in the bag of flour. Seal the bag. Shake the bag to coat the chicken pieces with the flour. Make sure they are all covered fully.
- In a bowl or shallow dish, beat your eggs and mix in the water. Set aside.
- In another medium to large bowl, add your Panko Crumbs and seasoned salt. Mix well. Set aside.
- Take each flour coated piece of chicken and dip it in the egg. Then dip it in the Panko Crumbs, making sure the chicken strip is fully coated. Press the crumbs on to the chicken so they will stick. Place the breaded chicken strip on the lined (or greased) baking sheet. Repeat with all of the chicken pieces.
- Spray the breaded chicken pieces with cooking spray. This is optional but will help the breading bake up nice and crispy.
- Bake the chicken strips for about 20 minutes. Using a meat thermometer, check the internal temperature and make sure the chicken reaches 165 degrees. They are done and fully baked when the largest piece of chicken has an internal temperature of 165 degrees. (See blog post above to get the meat thermometer I use). Bake the chicken strips longer if needed.*Check the chicken half way through baking and if the chicken is not getting crispy, you can spray the chicken again with cooking spray. (This is optional).
- While your chicken bakes, make the sticky finger sauce. Heat all of the ingredients in a sauce pan over medium-high heat. Heat the sauce, stirring or whisking it as it heats. You can remove it from the heat once the sauce is bubbly. Set aside.
- When the chicken strips are fully cooked, remove them from the oven. Dip them in the Sticky Finger Sauce, making sure they are fully covered. You can also use a basting brush and brush the sauce on the wings.
- Serve with ranch or bleu cheese dressing and enjoy! These Sticky Fingers are amazing the next day. Just heat them for a minute or two in the microwave. Keep them for 3-4 days in the refrigerator (I bet they won't last that long!).
Nutrition information is automatically calculated and should only be used as an approximation.
Check out some other yummy photos of these Winger’s Copycat Sticky Fingers